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Marian University student calls police himself to get help under Lifeline Law

Posted at 2:51 PM, May 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-02 18:15:27-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Marian University student's life may have been saved thanks to the Indiana Lifeline Law, campus police said.

Marian University police received a call shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday morning about a student possibly in distress.

They arrived on scene to find a 20-year-old male student suffering from a high level of intoxication.

Police learned the student had called police himself out of fear for his own wellbeing.

Marian University officers invoked Indiana's Lifeline Law and transported the student to the hospital for treatment.

The law was passed in 2012 by the Indiana General Assembly to provide legal immunity for minors who report certain alcohol offenses due to a medical emergency, being the victim of a sex offense or witnesses and reporting what they believe to be a crime.

The hope is to prevent tragedies like the death of Indiana University student Rachael Fiege, who died two days before classes were set to start in 2013 after falling down a flight of stairs at a party. The 19-year-old Zionsville High School grad's friends didn't call police for hours out of fear of getting in trouble for drinking underage.

READ MORE | Mom creates 'Rachael's First Week' from tragedy of daughter's death

Marian University Police Chief Scott Ralph commended the student for realizing he was in trouble and making the call.

"At any time someone can go and become incapacitated," Ralph said. "At this point, the person was feeling the effects of it. Through orientation he received at the university, he was aware of the situation and called for help."

Ralph said he believes his department's commitment to community policing was the reason the student felt comfortable enough calling police for help. He hopes other students in similar situations will do the same.

"What I would tell them is, don't hesitate: Call and ask for help. That's why this law was designed and passed, was to help young adults," Ralph said. "There are guidelines. You need to stay on scene. You need to cooperate with law enforcement. And then, you know, we'll implement the lifeline law, and this individual's life could have possibly been saved."

For more information about Indiana's Lifeline Law, click here.